A Maryland man who sold heroin on the darkweb under the name “CaliClaire” was sentenced to five years in federal prison.
U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake sentenced Jason Green, of Salisbury, Maryland, to five years in prison. The custodial sentence will be followed by three years of supervised release. Green previously pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance (heroin). Green admitted selling heroin through the darkweb under the name “CaliClaire.”
“The investigation that resulted in Green’s arrest involved, according to the Department of Justice’s press release, traditional surveillance coupled with undercover purchases from Green’s vendor accounts. In one example, an undercover investigator purchased one gram of heroin from CaliClaire’s vendor site on Dream Market for approximately $200 in bitcoin in 2018. The next day, undercover law enforcement officers watched Green drive his BMW to a Post Office in Ocean City, Maryland. While at the Post Office, Green deposited several packages into a mailbox. After Green had left the Post Office, law enforcement officers retrieved the packages from the mailbox. One package bore the address provided to CaliClaire by the undercover law enforcement officer on Dream Market. After obtaining search warrants, investigators found that the packages contained 3.5 and 4.5 grams of heroin.”
CaliClaire sold heroin to customers on Dream Market until the market shut down in 2019. After Dream Market had closed, investigators learned that CaliClaire had continued to sell heroin using encrypted email services and messaging applications. According to court documents, investigators learned this after seizing two packages of heroin and questioning the intended recipients about the source of the product.
“In 2019, after Dream Market shut down, law enforcement seized two packages of heroin addressed to recipients in Fairfax County, Virginia, and Washington County, Oregon. Investigators contacted the recipients and learned that both individuals had purchased from CaliClaire on Dream Market. The recipients told investigators that CaliClaire had continued to sell heroin through at least two encrypted email services. On one email service, CaliClaire had retained the CaliClaire username. On the other service, the vendor had switched to ‘clairebear2.’”
“In late 2019, investigators started conducting undercover purchases from the vendor through his encrypted email accounts. After placing orders for two grams of heroin, undercover investigators would send the vendor $300 in Bitcoin. Later, undercover law enforcement officers would follow Green to Post Offices in Maryland and Delaware. Police would fish the packages out of the mailboxes after Green had left the premises. Investigators seemingly always found a package addressed to the address provided by the undercover LEO.”
On October 16, 2019, police raided Green’s home and a storage unit used by Green as a part of his drug trafficking operation. During the raids, police recovered 77 grams of heroin; 41 grams of cocaine; five grams of MDA, 33 grams of amphetamine; more than 1.4 kilograms of marijuana; 334 grams of cutting agents; and drug paraphernalia. During a forensic analysis of Green’s electronic devices, investigators found evidence linking Green to one of the encrypted email services used by CaliClaire and a Bitcoin wallet. The wallet held 15.97 Bitcoin, which at the time of Green’s arrest was worth approximately $130,000. A forensic analysis of the laptop revealed:
- searches related to the addresses of customers;
- the names and addresses of 56 individuals who appeared in either the return or recipient addresses on packages seized by police, including undercover purchases;
- email addresses used by CaliClaire;
- a password to one of the email addresses used by CaliClaire;
- USPS tracking numbers, including for the undercover parcels and;
- and 44 PDF files containing USPS shipping labels from nearly every heroin package seized during the investigation.
The announcement from the United States Attorney’s Office states that there has been an increase in “the use of the internet to facilitate the illegal sale and distribution of narcotics and firearms.” They can increase the number of people arrested for buying and selling drugs on the darkweb at any given time since it is clear they can essentially identify and arrest anyone. Traditional investigative methods alone have proven successful in so many cases covered on this site. However, some of the tactics used by law enforcement in recent cases appear much more disruptive. One such example is the bulk analysis of mail pieces searching for patterns indicative of darkweb drug activity. We do not even know the tactics used that law enforcement officers obscured through parallel construction. As for the alleged increase in illegal firearm transactions, well, they will need to start arresting themselves.
The totally real Dark Market and Digital Currency Crimes (DMDCC) Task Force received credit for the successful investigation and conviction of CaliClaire.
Guilty plea: pdf
USAO Announcement: archive.org